While having travel health insurance is not mandatory to getting a tourist visa for the US, it is always recommended to have an insurance policy when to travel to a foreign land. This is especially true of the US, where healthcare costs are among the highest in the world. And yes, you can buy travel insurance of all types after arriving in the United States too.
However, keep in mind that any insurance will cover you only after the policy comes into effect. Some policies have a specific look-over period, offering coverage only after the end of that timeframe. So, rather than exposing yourself to risk, it is best to check out the various travel medical insurance options before leaving home.
Eligibility for Medical Insurance
Anyone who is visiting the US can opt for a visitors insurance policy, granting you medical emergency benefits. They grant both major and minor benefits depending on whether you choose a limited policy or a comprehensive one. Most policies offer coverage for people up to the age of 75-80 years, although you might even find the odd policy that covers you up to the age of 99.
An Overview of Travel Health Insurance
There are mainly two types plans you can choose from depending on your needs and budget, basic or limited coverage and premium or comprehensive coverage.
Minor ailments like cold and flu, food poisoning, diarrhea, etc., will be taken care of by limited plans, while comprehensive plans could even offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, as well as pre and post hospitalization expenses. There also are plans that cover for emergency evacuation and repatriation of remains. So, go through the insurance documents carefully for what they cover, the exceptions and deductibles, before making a choice.
Travel health insurance offers protection against medical illness or injury sustained during your travels in the US. However, you can also choose plans that offer additional cover for flight delay and cancellation, lost baggage and passport and personal accident and liability. When filling in the application form for the policy, be careful to fill only accurate information, otherwise there could be a risk of your claim being rejected at a later time.
Another important thing to remember is to check for the network of hospitals or physicians covered by a specific policy. Some policies allow for cashless hospitalization at the hospital that is part of their network. This can greatly ease your financial burden since you won’t have to make cash payments and then wait to be reimbursed.
Also, to ease the process of making a successful claim, keep all medical and pharmacy bills carefully, since you will need to attach them with the claim form.
Don’t forget to compare between plans to make an informed purchase. The cheapest plan might not always be the best option.